Music News

Critic's Choice

Back when grunge was the flavor of the week, its spiritual cousin, garage rock, seemed ready to bust into the mainstream. But after Kurt Cobain aerated his head, blowing a hole through the movement he'd come to personify in the process, garage went back to where it came from -- namely, the garage. So it comes as a pleasant surprise to find the self-titled first album by San Francisco's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on Virgin, a jumbo imprint that's shown little interest in fuzz tone for the better part of a decade. Better yet, B.R.M.C., scheduled to play on Friday, July 20, at the 15th Street Tavern, and Saturday, July 21, at the Soiled Dove, hasn't been sanitized for mass consumption. On their debut, guitarist/bassist/ vocalists Peter Hayes and Robert Turner, supplemented by drummer Nick Jago, churn out dark, dirty, sexy songs with a punky edge: Witness "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'N' Roll," whose accusatory chorus -- "I fell in love with the street sensation/I gave my heart to a simple chord/I gave my soul to a new religion/Whatever happened to you?" -- is both a blistering critique of the current scene and a call to start a better one. In other words, join the Club.